Hi folks. We will be flying into Prague on September 23rd, touring a few days before heading to Vienna via rail. Two days in Vienna before picking up our car and touring on our own for 13 days before returning to Vienna for flight out. The following is a route of places we would like to visit, realizing that we will not be able to do all of this in a 13 day period. We would appreciate input as to areas we should absolutely try to get to, so that we can work out a more specific itinerary. From Vienna; Melk, Mathausen, Rothenberg, Fussen (castles), Garmiche, Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, Hallstat, Krems, Vienna. We are interested in all things historical; churches, abbeys, castles, alpine scenery, WW2 history. We would like to do some hiking and biking and simply spend time with the locals. We have Rick Steves 'Europe Through the Back Door', and have read a lot of the posts here. So much to see, and want to make the best use of our time. Your thoughts and recommendations would be appreciated.
Wow - you are covering a lot of terrain. My suggestion would be to find spots from which to hub. Munich could be a hub for Füssen, GP & Rothenburg. Salzburg could be a hub for Berchtesgaden & Hallstadt as well. Less time packing, fewer hotel reservations, etc. Plus, you are in a major city that will have a lot to offer on its own and in the hours you are not visiting elsewhere. Enjoy your trip!
If you like Churches and Abbey's when you go to Krems up river from there is the town of Melk which has the Abbey.Near Hallstat is Obertrun and Dachstein which has the Five Fingers Overlook and the Ice Caves that are accessed by the Gondola,worth seeing.
Thanks Marc and Mike. I really like the idea of using Munich and Salzburg as home base cities, and of not having to change hotels each day. My husband and I travelled Europe in 2012, by car from Normandy, through Belgium, Holland Germany back to France, covering about 3500km, booking hotels as we went, and it was great. Loved the flexibility and spontenaity it provided. We were hoping to do something similar for our 13 days in Austria. Your suggestion, Marc, of Munich and Salzburg as home bases is in keeping with how we would like to see this area. Melk and the Wachau Valley look very appealing to us Mike, and so will make every effort to begin our touring there. My problem in planning is that we have sourced much material, with recommendations from friends and family, and to be honest, have become overwhelmed with the volume of things to see and do. I guess my intent in posting to this forum was to get input from people who have travelled the area, and who can recommend the highlights based on those travels. Thank you both for your suggestions. Much appreciated.